Two Life Birds, 02/02/19

~Here’s a beautiful bird – PACIFIC LOON at Manasquan Inlet in Ocean County, NJ 02/02/19.~

Early this morning, Linda Scrima, Maria Loukeris, and I headed to Manasquan Inlet to try for the PACIFIC LOON that has been seen there. This was definitely one of the easier rarities we’ve run for – we parked the car and the bird was in the channel right in front of us! And what a beautiful bird, a nice dark loon with a lovely chin strap. It was also very cooperative, swimming quite close and the light was pretty nice too. This bird alone was definitely worth the trip, but we also had some really nice photo ops with some Long-tailed Ducks (which are apparently a garbage bird around there!) and a gorgeous RED-THROATED LOON. We checked for gulls from Red’s Lobster Pot and got lucky with a 1st winter ICELAND GULL. Unfortunately that bird was just too far for pics. Then we walked out onto the jetty, where we enjoyed seeing many of the usuals – highlights included a Common Goldeneye flyby, a flock of Dunlin, and 2 Horned Grebes.

PACIFIC LOON at Manasquan Inlet, 02/02/19.~
~The puppy dog of ducks, and one of my favorites, Long-tailed Duck at Manasquan Inlet, 02/02/19.~

~I know I write this a lot, but ANOTHER favorite of mine – Red-throated Loon at Manasquan Inlet, 02/02/19.~

We then headed to the Trenton Sewage Ponds in Mercer County to try for the TOWNSEND’S WARBLER that has been there. We were informed as soon as we arrived by other birders that the bird was still present, and we got on it not too long after that. It was a good looking warbler, but unfortunately the lighting was absolutely horrible and the bird was severely backlit from our vantage point. We tried for a while to get shots of the bird as it foraged around the pools, and eventually the bird perched in a nearby tree. It was still backlit, but closer to us and with a natural setting made the difference for me. Also present was a Eastern Phoebe, several Yellow-rumped Warblers, a handful of Ruby-crowned Warblers, and a Palm Warbler.

Both birds were lifers for all three of us – it’s not too often we get lifers these days, so it was AWESOME!

~Photos were tough, this was the best I could do – TOWNSEND’S WARBLER at the Trenton Sewage Ponds, 02/02/19.~
~A nice look at a Palm Warbler at the Trenton Sewage Ponds, 02/02/19.~

8 thoughts on “Two Life Birds, 02/02/19”

  1. Had the Townsends later this morning and then went for the loon. This was the 6th. That I Have seen in the state. It was far closer than the others with great light. Chuck Hantis who posts on flicker has a good Townsend’s shot.

    1. Darn Bruce, if we went opposite we may have run into each other! Congrats to you for the birds too! Matt

  2. Must have missed you by a short bit. Jose and I were at Trenton around 10:30 and then looked for the Trumpeter swan at Assunpinc- all frozen in and no birds. Spent an hour or so at Point Pleasant and got close loon photos in good light. This was the 6th. Pacific I have seen in the state however this presented the best photo op. In all a great day. Glad you made the trip into New jersey. Not all of the good birds are in Orange and Ulster co.

    1. Actually it seems like there are many more good birds in NJ, especially in the winter. I’m trying to make an effort this year to get out of OC! Too bad we missed each other. Matt

    1. It’s so funny Scotty, I was of course thinking of you today. For me Scotty = loons, lol. Matt

  3. Congratulations on getting these two beautiful birds, Matt. It sounds like you, Maria and Linda had a wonderful day.

    1. Thanks Kathy, we sure did have a great day. It’s great for me, when my birding time is limited, to really do well like that. Matt

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